03.11.2022 - talking about gender, life, and car seat headrest

four month anniversary of starting HRT update

I feel very much like I should preface this with a few words about my absence/lack of consistent update schedule for my blog. I thought about fighting that urge, but it didn't seem right, so here we are. I've been busy! I'm a college student in their last year and honestly, I don't super believe in the idea of an update schedule! Like, what the fuck, this is a passion project, not something I am trying to monetize and SEO and whatnot. I work in a media-based job, and it has been a really important experience in realizing that I do NOT want to go into commercial graphic design as a profession. I also don't know when I last updated this, but I moved somewhere new! I mean, I've lived here for the larger half of a year now; I just never had the time/emotional energy to update my little log here. Lucky you, you get the results of a few month's worth of time. But yeah, this might be longer than I realized. Maybe I'll just do a quick table of contents...

table of contents

...aaaannd there we go. heh. still got it.

hrt changes and general timeline

SO! The biggest change in my life so far is the whole being-on-hormones HRT trans people thing! Tada!!! Yes, you heard it right here, folks! Your beloved website gardener is just one funky little transmasc guy! Woo!

Well, I guess that's kind of misleading to say, hehe.

1. You probably already knew I was trans given that it's in my bio (and if not, you're probably someone who knows me IRL. You weren't meant to see this; message me if you have respectful questions).

2. I'm not a guy so much as I am a butch-lesbian-in-training. My boyhood is emergent from my womanhood. I think the best definition of what I am is just a girl-lovin' gayass.

So... four months in... It's kind of an odd anniversary, but given my stances on the number four, it feels fitting. I love wordplay and I'm only very tangentially related to my identity (shout out to the diasporic experience amirite lol), so for me the number four highly symbolizes death (sounds way too similar in Chinese). Death is frightening of course, but in many tarot interpretations, it also represents rebirth. In some ways, I feel like an entirely different person compared to even just a few months prior. In other ways, I am... definitely the same awkward little weirdo, lol.

The most obvious change for anyone who encounters me has got to be my voice. Actually, it's maybe second to the hair, which doesn't like, totally count, but I mean come on. I got (half) blue hair and pronouns. It's SORT OF a gender marker. Before HRT, I sounded really... well, like a girl. There's old videos up with my voice. You can go watch those videos if you can find them on my Youtube channel, but it was just clearly a voice I did not wear well. It made me unhappy. I felt like I sounded wrong. Classics of Transgender. NOW, I sound like me. My voice cracks and it's not very deep, but it does have that throaty resonance and my singing voice sounds like the one I heard of myself in my own head. I don't really sound like a cis guy, I just sound like an ambiguously transgender person. It's AWESOME. I can't stress this enough - IT RULES SO HARD! Like sure, I miss hitting Hatsune Miku tier high notes with ease (or at all), but goodness gracious. I gained SO much.

Speaking of gain, the next thing that's noticeably to others would be the weight! I haven't actually checked, since I don't own a scale and don't want to, but I eat more now so it makes sense. I have a little funny double chin (the way guys with weak jaws do) that I'm a little insecure about, but I feel so strong. I feel solid and sturdy and my body is literally redistributing muscle mass and fat. It makes me sorta happy? Like, I definitely still have notions of what I SHOULD look like and it's sad that I'm continuing to move away from those beauty standards, but it's like. It wouldn't have made me happy to try and go down that 'be a pretty girl' road. I'm literally just like, sexy in new ways, haha.

There've been some changes that have been noticeable mostly to me and my girlfriend (more on them later). I feel like this might be a section other people going on T would want to know about. Yes. BOTTOM GROWTH and body hair patterns. Is there bottom growth? Yes, definitely. I'll try to be as explicit as I can about the process without, y'know. Giving out too much info about the specificities of my junk to weirdos online (sorry mom). So, obviously, your vag isn't going to turn into a penis. What DOES happen is that the clit just gets bigger, stuff gets redder down there. So say your clit was like, the size of your pinky nail beforehand? Now it might be the size of a thumb (YMMV, we all have different genetics). I have NOT experienced vaginal atrophy, HAVE experienced just being...wetter and smelling different. Uh...right around now is when the buttcrack hair is starting to become an issue. I noticed like, faint thin hairs (not like the rest of the pubes lol) growing out and that is NOT something that brings me joy, lol. But I can't say I dislike bottom growth. It was never really a fear of mine with HRT so I can't speak for those who were nervous about it. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ON STARTING TESTOSTERONE AND ABOUT DOSAGE, reach out to me on Twitter @19dcwotda2000.

If you want a better sense of what the new smell is like, a funny little comparison I make with my girl is that I just smell more like them now. Like, it legit kinda just smells like the liquids THEY produce. That's my funny little transition to my next topic...

general life changes that are very exciting for me

I'm in the reaping what I sow section of my life, but in a good way! Oftentimes, I look back at some goals I wrote for myself in my sketchbook from way back. I think it was around the beginning of my therapy journey! (I was struggling hard with suicidal ideation as a teen, but therapy and just growing up really helped). Past me could only think of two major life goals for myself, join a zine and buy a chest binder. I had been struggling so hard with depression I couldn't think of anything more to be a reason to live. Like, I couldn't even use that trick of thinking of all the fun things I could do while still alive because everyday was just so unbearable (trauma is a BITCH!). I needed anything to get me out of that rut. Now, in just a few years, I am where I never thought I'd be as a person. I'm on hormones and I have THREE binders! I have a website (my dream as a kid)! I make zines! I've done commissions! I paid off my student loans! I moved out of my mom's place into an apartment for the first time! I have a girlfriend! I'm set to graduate! I'm just doing... like embarrassingly well.

Sure, there's still some major rough patches in life. Who doesn't struggle with the day to day? But all the other pieces of my life have been falling into place after what feels like forever. I never noticed it, but day by day, living stopped feeling like drowning and more like moving into shallower waters. Now, life is like a veritable jacuzzi. Sometimes, it's kind of gross cause other people pee in it or whatever, but for the most part, I am content to be left alone in it. Well, with the exception of my girlfriend. Yes, I have a girlfriend. YES, I am going to be obnoxious about it. I'm like, obscenely happy. So happy they wanna censor me, but I'm like fuck you! I'm living the T4T dream life! I MAKE the T4T dream work for me! Suck on that, liberals! Lol.

The next big website change I'm going to have to make is to start shilling their social media accounts and work. Gotta push their content. Sunday, when you see this, you know how much you mean to me. ♥100% YUROR MY FUCKGNIGN GIRLFRIRIEND♥

getting back into card reading

Okay, it's getting into the wee hours of the night, so I've got to make this quick! Before I fall asleep at the wheel here. Lately, I've been getting back into divination. I think my connection to my cards and my readings is just tied to the overall improvements I've made in my life. A lot changed, but I trusted my intuition about what was really going on and made MANY necessary changes and adjustments. The other day, picking up cartomancy just spoke to me, so I did it. I grabbed my deck of plain playing cards and started studying them again! I've been comparing the meanings of the regular playing card deck to the meanings of the tarot, which has really improved my familiarity with the system of symbols that one can read into both decks. I'm considering making a biweekly tarot/cartomancy segment, but we'll see. If there's interest in it, that would be an incentive to do it, but honestly I think I need to reach out and make tarot/cartomancy/divination friends.

I currently have three decks I read with, the Ellusionist's Sleeper Insomniac deck (imbued with some sheer amazing energy. If you ever read this, Col, thank you for everything), the Fangamer Metal Gear Solid deck (shoutout to @magiclind for that deck), and a Pride Tarot deck of unknown production (took some work to repair my energy with this deck since it was again, a gift, but...well I didn't do right by the girl this deck is from). Ongoing projects involving tarot is maybe making a friends-themed Polaroid photo tarot deck, learning to read with Yu-gi-oh cards, and just picking up the symbolism and spreads better.

I'm really looking to expand my card-reading community and to make friends in general, so if you have any tips for reading to give to a noob, if you have any decks you recommend for its artistry, if you have any stories to any particular card at all, hit me up! I think this shout in the void won't work, but hey! You're reading this right? So it's worth a shot.

thoughts on honoring those I write about

This segment's probably going to be the shortest, but I think it's actually pretty important. This bit is more so about learning to grow from possible harm I've caused others. Nagata Kabi, the amazing author/artist of the "My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness" autobiography, wrote within her work about the HUGE struggle that being published brought out because EVERYONE knew. Like, once the book came out, all the secrets were just unearthed and fame made it impossible to hide. Now, I'm not saying that I'm gonna get famous or anything ever, but there is a degree of respecting others I like to partake in. Especially now that my girlfriend is in the picture and has been mentioned several times. I have, of course, checked with them to clear anything dodgy I might write about them. ...

Actually, now that I think about it, I don't think I have a problem with writing too personal things about other people into my posts. What had happened was that a friend felt like I was not honest/vulnerable with them. I had posted a segment that included a factoid about their life in one of my journals. They found out long after I had published it. I found out that they- Well. That's not important now. I think the biggest takeaway from that is to just...bring up shit before posting about it on a website blog anyone can see, right? But...the thing is...this is essentially a diary for me. What is the LIKELYHOOD anyone is going to see this? I guess it's an issue of privacy for some, but it's like...Okay, if you know what to make of this issue and the perspectives on the matter, I would love to hear from you. If you're reading this off the Neocities update feed, leave a comment or something. I'm forreal like, I just need more eyes on an issue I guess so that I know I'm not crazy. There's just so many interpersonal relationships I don't KNOW how to address in the most perfect manner. Sometimes, I think a guy should be allowed to stew on his own in the privacy of the Internet. It's like crying and calling someone on the subway. I dunno.

my raging car seat headrest obsession

This has a lot to do with my stress over how to write about my feelings on other people. I'm thinking of channeling it into a segment of CSH lyric commentary. Of course, I'm not critic. I'm just some guy. Still, I think getting to gush about what each specific song means to me might be nice. I think the following will be kind of a tester to gauge my own interest in this idea/concept.

Sober to Death by Car Seat Headrest Lyrics

This album...man, this album. There's a reason why Twin Fantasy is such a major CSH album, and not just because Mr. Headrest decided to remaster it. I dunno, it's kind of impressive how Will Toledo took something so... artistically trite (to me, at least) like a breakup and made THIS masterpiece. AND THEN HE TOOK THE BREAK UP ALBUM AND REDID IT JUST AS A WHY-NOT RETROSPECTIVE. At least, that's the story I've kind of garnered about the Twin Fantasy album from my girl. Sunday introduced me to this album as a bit of a...let's say, a cautionary tale. That, my friend, it certainly is. Mr. Headrest's lyricism is just...gorgeous. I don't know, I'm kind of obsessed with his crooning singing and the elaborate lyrics...but that's not why you're here. I'm not trying to write a CSH fan post, I just have feelings to work through.

Sober to Death was not my first CSH song, nor was it even the one that became my TOP song of 2021 (or whatever year it was that I looped Ending of Dramamine over 100 times). But the idea of being sober to death is just particularly salient in my life, and it has been for the last couple of years. I need you to know that it's only somewhat true what they say about weed not being addicting. Like, no, I didn't really have a major problem quitting, but I kind of...did. I didn't entirely have control over how I was self-medicating. I think I am particularly lucky that I found a way out of smoking and edibles to feel good. It wasn't a particularly long time in my life, nor was it particularly meaningful. It hasn't even been that long since I've been "past it." But the good...two years I spent high nearly every day really got to me, enough for me to have a lot of complicated feelings about it still. Also, $40 a cart kind of sucks as a financial decision. So yeah, that's the short of why the concept itself is compelling. CSH has a lot of songs about relation to drug usage and the connections it brings, along with the situations you end up in as a result, but that's for another song. Teens of Denial is the album for that.

Sober to death is interesting because of how sobriety is marked by this experience of being in a sinking relationship with no way out. Unlike the way Stop Smoking We Love You and Keep Smoking We Love you cover the idea of drugs and death, this song is very much about two people. It reads very much like the album Hospice by The Antlers to me, but I digress. Sex, particularly routine and troubled practices of sex, is a core thread of this failing relationship. From the frenzy in the jeans to the good turn ons, a narrative emerges of a couple that rinses and repeats the cycle of sex and anger. Now, I can't say that that's where my life is in terms of my relationship (I loooooooooooooooooooooooove my girlfriend. Like, seriously, I can't POSSIBLY be happier in that regard), but I do feel like there is an abstracted degree to which I related to this relationship style and experience.

It's in the subtle ways of Toledo's character constantly giving in to a bad idea. The significance of the "another movie that I didn't watch with you" to me is that it indicates some degree of unwanted distance from a person. It reads very much like, I wish you were giving me time that you aren't. BUT, it's followed by this "another movie and we're gonna have to move (no, no, no)." So watching the movie together isn't the quality time it seems to be. Maybe it's because I have been forced to watch SO many movies lately (for class and others) that I'm interpreting it this way, but it feels to me the sense of the movie precluding the unavoidably worse thing (sex with this person, writing another goddamn essay, the RAGE aftermath).

I have nothing for the next major segment except to say. The final terror IS in my house somewhere, Will. It is rather stressful. Okay, I guess I do have something to say. The final terror reads to me like this person. The final terror is in the house, but it's also in the person he's singing about. The marks of this terror is at the corner of this person's eyes, but in carrying this terror inside them, this person is inseparable. That final terror is in YOUR house, but it's also in Will's house now.

Love the pre-chorus. It's true, nothing works for everyone, in that not everything fits everyone's needs, in that nothing WORKS for everyone so that everything fails anyone at some point. Good stories are bad lives - true. These platitudes for his partner only create more holes in the hull of their relationship, given that these push the idea that such things are inevitable. It's very downer on purpose. I imagine this person only responds to this sort of thing, not any sort of real encouragement or genuine attempts to improve. Here's why I think that:

"Take your hands off your neck and hold on to the ghost of my body," he cries. God. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. THIS LINE!!!!!! This is a significant line to many, but here's how I read it. It's very much, this person he's with is kind of the sinker. It takes two to tango, of course, but I am reading this with my own experience in mind. It's very much, okay I can bear the burden of your pain, but the sinking realization that there's too much burden because this person is AWFUL at managing their own cargo. Too much on a load-bearing pillar and that pillar breaks. He's moving their hands off their neck onto him, but he isn't stopping those hands from gripping and squeezing, you know? He's just a stop-gap for this person's self-destruction. His body is ghostly and I read this in multiple ways. Maybe he is a ghost of himself, yknow? Maybe, it's the very spirit of him that this person grabs so violently at. Maybe, it represents the distance he holds from them. Hard to say. But yeah, he moves this person away from their final terror, their desperation of death and endings. But he becomes the new punching bag. Maybe not physically, but he says, text me when you're tired of punching mattresses. Of course, they were both already wrecks. It takes broken people to sustain a relationship where neither party gains anything, no comfort for either parties.

Such a good idea, if it turns you on. Oh, he is ever the self-sacrificing man. It reads to me within my tensions about what it means to be a man. Often, I think, I have to be a good man, I can't be too overbearing like a cis man would. This, as you might imagine, leads to me being taken advantage of the way women get taken advantage of (oh, womanhood, my eternal unsolvable problem). Okay, it's not like men can't get taken advantage of, obviously, but it's this giving in to someone else, this saying yes despite wanting a no because you can't see your own needs? Reads very classics of women to me. Not CAUSE ALL WOMEN ARE LIKE THIS, BUT Y'KNOW PATRIARCHY KIND OF ENFORCES THIS. Okay. Anyways. Yeah, this right okay go psycho, I want to hear. Be it rage or sex. Every convo ends with screaming, make-up sex. Straightforward. Nothing changes, everything gets swept under the rugs.

The final major detail is the change to the chorus. Take MY hands off your neck and hold onto the ghost of my body. I know that good lives make bad stories. I read this as the way the accomodating one's role is challenged - understanding that instead of being a pillar of support, that he has become an enabler. I also read it as perhaps this other person has begun accusing Will of being the one who causes them this pain and suffering. Such is the nature of traumatic bonds...It reads as the dawning awareness that he is justifying his own behavior and complicity in this behavior. It's a powerful change for just the subjects being switched out. I have nothing to say about this in terms of my own experience. Or well, I guess I am just learning to identify these patterns in my own life.

The outro. That's all. Don't worry, you and me won't be alone no more. The last words between two broken people before he (both the Will in the song and the Will singing the song)leaves is a proper reassurance and a committment to the idea that leaving is what's best. Damn..